LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joey Votto hit a go-ahead double, Jesse Winker homered and drove in two runs and the Cincinnati Reds rallied for the second straight night to defeat the scuffling Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 on Tuesday.
The defending World Series champions have dropped six of eight, including three straight for the first time since 2019.
“Right now it has kind of been salvage a series mode,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “There are some guys we have to get on track.”
Votto’s two-run double to right field off Scott Alexander (0-2) in the seventh snapped an 0-for-15 skid and gave Cincinnati the lead. The Reds trailed by two going into the inning, but Tucker Barnhart led off with a double and scored when Kyle Farmer lined a single to left-center.
“I was in ‘I have to get a hit’ mode,” Votto said. “Sometimes we get so focused on technique and timing, but sometimes you just have to get the job done.”
Winker had three hits — including a leadoff home run — to extend his hitting streak to a career high-tying 12 games. He has homered in three straight games and leads the National League with a .397 batting average.
The Dodgers managed only four hits off six Reds pitchers, including Will Smith’s three-run homer in the fourth. Los Angeles benefited from eight walks, but left eight on base.
Ryan Hendrix (1-0) got his first major league win for the Reds, who have won two in a row after dropping seven straight. Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his first save with Cincinnati.
“So many guys came through and we continued to battle back. It’s nice when everyone contributes,” Reds manager David Bell said.
Los Angeles starter Walker Buehler struck out 10, but allowed five runs and seven hits. It was the ninth time the right-hander reached double-digit strikeouts.
“I don’t care if you punch out 27. To keep giving up leads that our offense kept giving me is not acceptable,” Buehler said. “You can’t keep giving teams opportunities. We’ll get back to the drawing board a little bit.”
Winker, who hit the tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning of Monday’s 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium, didn’t waste any time going deep again. He drove Buehler’s fastball over the wall in right-center on the first pitch of the game.
It was Winker’s sixth career leadoff homer and second this season. Half his homers have come on the first pitch.
The Dodgers got only one hit off Cincinnati starter Jeff Hoffman, but it was big. Smith hit a three-run shot to center in the fourth inning to put Los Angeles up 3-1 after the right-hander walked the first two batters. Hoffman went four innings with three strikeouts and five walks.
The Reds responded with a pair in the fifth to tie it 3-all on an RBI grounder by Tyler Stephenson and Winker’s single. Los Angeles regained the lead with Matt Beaty’s two-run single to right.
“We really couldn’t get anything going. Other than the fifth and sixth innings, we couldn’t get a big hit,” Beaty said.
STARTING OFF WITH A BANG
Winker’s leadoff homer was the fourth by the Reds this season. Tyler Naquin has the other two.
Cincinnati is the fifth team since 1974 to hit four leadoff homers in April, according to Sportradar. The others were the 2017 Houston Astros, 2013 Seattle Mariners, 2000 Toronto Blue Jays and 1996 Baltimore Orioles.
Reds: 3B Mike Moustakas (illness unrelated to COVID-19) was activated off the injured list and OF Mark Payton was optioned to the alternate training site. … SS Eugenio Suárez, hitless in his last 20 plate appearances, got the night off.
Dodgers: 1B Cody Bellinger recently jogged for the first time since fracturing his left fibula. He will head to Arizona later in the week to continue his rehab at the alternate site. … RHP Joe Kelly (shoulder inflammation) will have another outing in Arizona on Wednesday. He could rejoin the team during the upcoming 10-game road trip. … OF AJ Pollock was out of the lineup for the second straight game due to food poisoning.
Trevor Bauer received his NL Cy Young Award from Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson before the game. The right-hander was Cincinnati’s first Cy Young winner and said it was special to celebrate the occasion with former teammates in town.
“We knew they were coming at the end of the month and it made sense to get it,” Bauer said. “For an organization that has been around longer than any other, I’m happy to be able to bring it to the organization.”
Bauer signed with the Dodgers during the offseason. He spent 1 1/2 seasons in Cincinnati after being traded by Cleveland in 2019.
The teams close their three-game series with an afternoon game Wednesday. Cincinnati right-hander Sonny Gray (0-1, 7.88 ERA) is looking to bounce back after allowing five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings in Friday’s loss at St. Louis. Los Angeles lefty Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 2.56) faces the Reds for only the second time since 2016.
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